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Sun Voyager sculpture in Reykjavik, Iceland “contains within itself the promise of undiscovered territory, a dream of hope, progress and freedom”. Could it get any better?

Spontaneous Travel

I knew the new phone was coming to me. As a member of the buzzing team of worldwide Verizon ambassadors invited to try out different phones and devices, the Nokia Lumia was happily expected.

What I didn’t know was that Iceland was coming to me!  Well, I went to Iceland, but until 3 days before my departure, I didn’t know I needed to be packing mukluks and mittens, and only 5 days prior, I had no idea Iceland was even a remote (pun intended) destination on this year’s travel itinerary!

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An “USie” in Iceland

Thank goodness for fellow wanderlusters who keep me in the loop when a last-minute opportunity arises.  A friend of a friend had to unfortunately back out of her planned trip to Iceland via Iceland Air’s crazy affordable most-inclusive packages.  It was left to me to pay only the change fee and get thyself to Denver to meet Patty and fly!  So I did.

Reykjavik

 

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The gloriously designed opera house on the harbor in Reykjavik gives the appearance inside and out of a floating ice berg.

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Hallgrímskirkja, or Hallgrimur’s Church, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Quaint and colorful houses in Reykjavik are a common and welcome sight under gray skies.

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Yes, it gets chilly in Iceland in spring when the wind blows!

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I even found a Madison store in Reykjavik!

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And a skate-friendly square in the middle of town. Reykjavik, Iceland.

…And delicious eats.  The seafood is really the treat in Iceland.

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Fresh salmon for breakfast in Reykjavik, Iceland

Now THIS is adventure. Tasting traditional treats of Iceland must include their classic chocolate-covered black licorice. Yes. You heard that right. And it's not so bad. :)

Now THIS is adventure. Tasting traditional treats of Iceland must include their classic chocolate-covered black licorice, Lakkris. Yes. You heard that right. And it’s not so bad. :)

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Cathedral on the hill above our marina hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland

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Classic cars always catch my attention.

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Hallgrímskirkja, or Hallgrimur’s Church, Reyjkavik offers the best views of the town and immense bay.

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This cold gray building nonetheless captured the warmth of the vibrant sunset reflection.

Getting out of town…

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Where the ice melts through the lava layers.

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Spillunking in a lava tube cave.

But wait, there’s more!

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Best.time.ever. Slushing and sliding around on a melting glacier…too much fun! It would be off-roading if there ARE any roads on this glacier. We traveled in a group of 3 vehicles so they could radio each other and haul out of huge gulches of melting snow and ice. Cool stuff – literally.

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Wind chill factor. And laugh factor!

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The blue lagoon isn’t so blue, but it’s perfection and relaxation and muddy fun. Another contrast of steamy serenity amidst a frozen landscape.

And much as I had wanted to visit this wild and wonderful country, I was still pleasantly surprised at how very much I enjoyed so many aspects of my trip!

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Happy traveler.

Fire and Ice

I love contrasts.  And this time of year, the stark contrast of the volcanic earth and the pristine snow half-blanketing the spring mountain ranges mimicked the finest marble.

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Marbleized snow-covered volcanic mountains flanking the glaciers on our off-road tour.

Reykjavik, a grand, vibrant version of a clean fishing village…

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Colorful quaint houses of Reykjavic, Iceland

One might question why certain iconic images are missing from my gallery.  Gullfoss, for example. The dramatic and breathtaking waterfall that disappears into a deep gorge, then regurgitates rainbows. The geysers are missing as well.  Am I nursing regrets? Not one iota.  This was the itinerary selected by my friends and I wouldn’t trade anything about this trip. We filled our time fabulously and tirelessly and we are both confident in our imminent return to Iceland.  I love leaving tantalizing activities and sites for future returns… My top pursuit will be to ride one of the endearing, adorable and completely unique to the region, 5-gaited Icelandic horses. Perhaps along the ridge at Gullfoss. :)

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First sunset of our trip. What a welcome. Reykjavik, Iceland

Thank you for once again accompanying me on my wanderings. Where to next? Well, after Iceland I went to straight to San Francisco to join the #VZWBuzz team and to finally meet some fabulous fellow fone fanatics. ;) And there was the Virgin Islands and Jordan and….no stopping this wanderer! (Thankfully)

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A favorite wing shot leaving Iceland.

All photos taken by Gina Stark on my Nokia Lumia, which was generously provided to me to test out on my travels. This trip was of my own volition and budget.

You may also enjoy: Maui and Kauai: Traveling with a New Companion – My Droid Maxx (with Panorama!)

 

 

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Irina June 21, 2015 at 5:59 am

Always fun to travel with you, via your wonderful posts!

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Natasha February 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Oh those views of the mountains in the snow are amazing! Iceland looks stunning and the architecture looks so cool too. – Tasha

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Gina SuuperG Stark February 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

Thank you Natasha, and yes, they were marvelously marbelized mountains. :) I hope to return all bundled up to visit the town again and see more natural beauty and the northern lights, of course!

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Natasha February 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm

It does look amazing, no surprise you want to go again!

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